Washington, DC – Today, Representatives Hank Johnson (D-GA) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) introduced H.R. 5801, the Removal Jurisdiction Clarification Act of 2020, the first bill to address “snap removal,” a procedural tactic which clogs federal courts with state cases. This wayward practice is the quick removal by a resident corporate defendant to a federal court before being served with a complaint. In November, the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Courts held a hearing examining this states’ rights issue.
In 1948, Congress enacted the Forum Defendant Rule in order to uphold the rights of states to resolve state law disputes involving their citizens, and prevent defendants from avoiding the jurisdiction of their own state courts. Snap removal perverts this rule and allows defendants to forum shop.
“Snap removal clogs the federal courts with state cases and defeats the purpose of diversity jurisdiction, which is meant to protect out-of-state litigants from local bias,” said AAJ CEO Linda Lipsen. “Defendants sued in their home states do not need this protection. Snap removal is a waste of judicial time and resources, impedes justice for victims, and hinders the ability of state courts to develop state law.”
Lipsen added, “AAJ applauds this well overdue legislation that will grant swift access to justice for the American people, and urges Congress to pass the Removal Jurisdiction Clarification Act of 2020.”